National charity Friends of the Elderly is calling on everyone to ‘Be a Friend’ and help tackle spiralling levels of loneliness.
The campaign, backed by David Cameron, is encouraging people in Northern Ireland and across the UK to get to know their older neighbours.
The call to action is a direct response to the charity’s new research report, The Future of Loneliness, which shows that over five million older people in the UK are affected by loneliness, with more than a million, 1 In 10, saying they often or always feel lonely.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Friends of the Elderly is at the forefront of the fight against loneliness and isolation amongst older people. Their research shows that small acts of friendship, such as calling in on an elderly neighbour, can have a huge impact.
“The Be a Friend campaign will bring generations together to spark new and enduring friendships across the length and breadth of the country. I wish it every success.”
Steve Allen, CEO of Friends of the Elderly, commented: “We already know that loneliness is a critical issue, but the Future of Loneliness report shows just how vital it is for us to take action now.
We believe loneliness can be overcome with relatively simple interventions. By encouraging everyone to connect with their older neighbours, we can empower young and old to connect better within their communities.”
To find out more about supporting the project see www.beafriend.org.uk